Dispatches from the Victoria Fringe 2018. Day Four.

Reviews of The Birdmann and Egg FINALE, Cornelius and Titania by Pamela Bethel and BLOOD RELATIVE by Ren Lunicke.

Day Four had me happily camped out at a relatively new Victoria Fringe venue—Venue 7, St Andrew’s Kirk Hall, entrance at 680 Courtney Street (NOTE: it’s listed incorrectly as 860 Courtney in the schedule found on page 22 of the Fringe guide)—meeting many old Fringe friend in the line-up (one of my favourite aspects of the festival) and comparing notes. There is a camaraderie and sense of community that is unique to the Fringe, a fact that was underlined in one of the day’s performances (more about that below).

Don’t forget to check out reviews from Day One (The Session, Reminiscences of Reconciliation, Fool’s Paradise), Day Two (Water People, Fado, Carey, OK!) and Day Three (Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of Moriarty!, The Measure of Love, The Boy in the Chrysalis, Para Dos).

Shows coming from the Edmonton Fringe start Monday night. If there are any you are determined to see, I always advise getting advance tickets to avoid disappointment—by the concluding weekend many are sold-out of pre-sales and line-ups begin well before an hour in advance of door sales.

Happy Fringing.

The Birdmann and Egg FINALE

The Birdmann has been defining the word “fringy” on the world-wide Fringe circuit for years, first appearing at the Victoria Fringe in 2010 with acts that many can now recite by heart—which in no way detracts from the sheer unbridled joy to be found in this quirky, enchanting mélange of existential one-liners, feats of unusual juggling and displays of bravado—enhanced more recently by the musical stylings and musings of his sidekick Egg.

There’s a particular pleasure to be found, laughing at silly jokes and tricks, seeing people dissolve into fits at the nonsense, willing participants in balloon tossing, clapping along enthusiastically to air-guitar extravaganzas, and holding their breath in anticipation of a surprise.

The Birdmann and Egg guarantee a return to childhood, a time filled with wonder at the slightest of novelties, far removed from the everyday worries of life. As he reminds us, “Who are we not to be fantastic?”

“I love bringing people who’ve never seen The Birdmann and Egg, and watching their surprised reactions” says a loyal fan.

If you need more delight in your life—go spend some time with this duo.

PS: Egg (Sachie Mikawa) brings her own solo show Fish Saw, about an unlikely friendship that withstood a natural disaster, to the Intrepid Theatre Club for one night only September 8thTickets are on sale now.  This is a small venue and the show will sell out.

The Birdmann and Egg FINALE
Venue 7, St Andrew’s Kirk Hall, 680 Courtney Street
Tickets $11
Duration: 55 minutes
Rating: All ages
Genre: Comedy variety show

Remaining shows:
Aug 28 Tuesday 08:45 pm
Aug 31 Friday 07:45 pm
Sep 01 Saturday 10:15 pm

Cornelius and Titania. Or, A Tragedy of the Commons (a comedy)

What do you get when you take an overlooked Shakespearean character and one of his most iconic and re-imagine them in a modern day office?

Cornelius (Tallas Munro) is a petty bureaucrat, ambassador to the Norwegian court, “not famous” for his one line in Hamlet, a line that is often cut—which is how he’s ended up at “The Bureau” in charge of all the other extraneous and assorted characters who have also been removed for reasons of brevity.

Titania (Christina Patterson) is the majestic Queen of the Fairies—in this case, replaced, to her great affront, by technology.

Cornelius and Titania is a sharp comedic mash-up, where office politics and Shakespearean references jostle one another for laughs.  Anyone who has ever tried to find a clean mug in the breakroom, and sat through boring operational meetings will appreciate Cornelius’ frustration at trying to run a ship-shape operation and Titania’s desire to shake things up. Shakespeare cognoscenti will appreciate the references to plot points, character traits and the hilarious anachronisms.

Playwright Pamela Bethel’s script is wry, intelligent and ironic. Patterson and Munro engage in swift, witty banter throughout—sparks fly at the jousting and laughter flows easily for the antics of this wonderfully paired duo. Patterson is an experienced performer, well-known locally for her work with Launch Pad Theatre, who blends a look of regal authority with a mischievous air. Tallas Munro, a current University of Victoria theatre student, is a great foil with his grumpy and punctilious manner—the perfect wet blanket for her enthusiasm and imperiousness.

Cornelius and Titania. Or, a Tragedy of the Commons (a comedy) by Pamela Bethel, Christina Patterson and Tallas Munro, produced by Hush Money
Venue 7, St Andrew’s Kirk Hall, 680 Courtney Street
Tickets  $11 regular, $9 seniors and students
Duration: 45 minutes
Rating: All ages (will appeal to attention spans 12+)
Genre: Comedy

Remaining shows:

Aug 30 Thursday 09:15 pm
Sep 01 Saturday 12:30 pm
Sep 02 Sunday 09:30 pm


Humans crave connection. It’s very evident at the Victoria Fringe Festival where complete strangers chat in line-ups, trading tips on shows to see and friendships are renewed for another year. Solo storytelling shows incorporating personal memoir provide an opportunity to experience life in someone else’s shoes—furthering connection.

BLOOD RELATIVE is a story of connection—the family ties that bind, or not—the journey of Ren Lunicke (then Michelle) as she struggles to come to grips with family that is lukewarm at best, except for her beloved (and very old) grandmother, all the while dealing with personal health and fertility concerns.

Lunicke is a wonderfully engaging storyteller, incorporating multiple voices and accents as she introduces us to parents, siblings and her still sharp-as-a-tack granny.  Despite the fact she has faced opposition to her “life choices” there is no trace of bitterness in her pragmatic, quizzical and often-funny delivery.

On a quest to discover more about her roots, and the mysteries of her granny’s past, she tapes conversations, and travels to an ancestral hometown. Still no closer to the truth she chooses to redefine her definition of family.Seated in a dark auditorium, surrounded by people united by love of a common purpose—the pursuit of out of the ordinary theatrical experiences—the “Fringe family”—Lunicke’s message hits home with sudden power in a moving (and for the audience—tearful) finale.

BLOOD RELATIVE by Ren Lunicke (New Zealand, Canada, USA)
Venue 7, St Andrew’s Kirk Hall, 680 Courtney Street
Tickets $11 regular $9 students and seniors
Duration: 75 minutes
Rating: PG 12+
Genre: Solo storytelling


Relaxed Performance Measures: This show contains no major lighting effects and reduced sound.

Remaining shows:

Aug 29 Wednesday 08:15 pm

Sep 01 Saturday 06:00 pm

Sep 02 Sunday 03:15 pm

About @lacouvee

Community Builder. Catalyst. Speaker. Writer. Arts Advocate.

Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

I truly believe that one person can make a difference and that we all have our own lives to live, creatively, while respecting the unique nature of others.


  1. […] Holmes and the Curse of Moriarty!, The Measure of Love, The Boy in the Chrysalis, Para Dos), Day Four (The Birdmann and Egg FINALE, Cornelius and Titania BLOOD RELATIVE), Day Five (Death a Romantic […]

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